Tag Archives: book review

Staff Review: The Girl from Everywhere

 

the girl from everywhereThe Girl From Everywhere

Heidi Heilig

Greenwillow Books

$17.99

Available February 2016

For those of you seeking one roller-coaster of an adventure without leaving your chair, then The Girl From Everywhere written by Heidi Heilig is the book for you. Once I started to read the book, it became impossible to put it down. This story focuses on a sixteen year old girl named Nixie or Nix for short: a girl born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1868. A girl who since then has been sailing around the world on a ship with her father and various other crew members, from century to century, country to country. The setting of them traveling around on one huge ship from sea to sea has that whole Pirates of a Caribbean kind of feel. On the way they collect numerous exotic species, one of them being a rare bird that Nix manages to steal from a bird keeper in India, that has the power to cure any illness by simply looking the sick person in the eye.

Nix’s father sees her as nothing but bait. He will use her to get whatever he needs, wherever he needs, no matter how dangerous the situation may be. His main objective is to get back to 1868 Honolulu Hawaii where the story all began, to reunite with the love of his life before she died giving birth to Nix. Unfortunately, the future won’t look bright for Nix if she does help her father. Instead it will cost Nix her own life.

~Eryn, 16

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Customer review: The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

accident seasonThe Accident Season

Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Kathy Dawson Books,

$17.99

Available now

Accidents Happen.  Our bones shatter, our skin splits, our hearts break.  We burn, we drown we stay alive.

In The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle, every October Cara and her family are accident-prone.  With the disappearance of a former friend and a sudden attraction to her ex-stepbrother, this accident season will be one of the bad ones. This book is a great, quick read and I recommend this book to a reader who loves a good mystery.

~ Emily, 17

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Customer review: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

dead houseThe Dead House

Dawn Kurtagich

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers,

$18.00

Available: September 15th, 2015

I really enjoyed this book. It was an interesting and unusual mix of psychological thriller and dark fantasy, and it was more than suspenseful enough to keep me reading. The format, which consisted of captioned video footage, newspaper clippings, and excerpts from the main character’s diary, was cleverly done in that it told the whole story without the need for much added explanation. Though pretty open-ended, the conclusion answered the story’s important questions in a way that made sense; something a lot of thrillers struggle to do. I would recommend this book for kids age 14 and up, as there is violence and some sexual themes.

Jason ~18

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Customer Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

a thousand nights A Thousand Nights

Emily Kate Johnston

Disney-Hyperion

$18.99

Available: October 6th, 2015

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston transports readers to Arabian deserts, where readers can feel the burning sand under their feet and the hot sun beating on their backs.  A nameless girl saves her sister from being taken by Lo-Melkhiin, who has married three hundred women and has killed them. The girl instead sacrifices herself to be taken. Fans of Arabian Nights will fly through this book.

~ Emily, 17

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Customer review: Damage Done by Amanda Panitch

damage doneDamage Done

Amanda Panitch

Random House Books for Young Readers

$17.99

Available now

Damage Done by Amanda Panitch is one of the best mystery thrillers I have read of the YA variety.  Julia Vann had the perfect life, then the shooting happened. The next moment she is a new person, lives in a new town, and doesn’t have a brother. You have to read the book to find out what really happened in the band room, where it all started.  Perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, and anyone who loves a good plot twist.

Emily ~ 17

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Staff review: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

TKAMTo Kill A Mockingbird

Harper Lee

HarperCollins Publishers

$16.99

Available Now

The novel To Kill A Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, is a classic because the values and morals displayed through out this novel will never grow old. Translated into more than forty languages, this novel transcends the American canon. To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in Maycomb County, in southern Alabama, and is told from the innocent eyes of six-year-old Scout Finch, a tomboy/rebel, who is the daughter of Atticus Finch, an open minded lawyer with good values and morals. Atticus agrees to represent Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus isn’t one to judge man by his skin color and race but rather focuses on the content of their character and who they are as a person.

To Kill a Mockingbird teaches the reader this important lesson: that you shouldn’t judge others based on appearances or what you’ve heard “until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” For example, Scout has encounters with many people who defy stereotypes such as Boo Radley. The story also circles around the important moral that everyone is created equal and that, as Atticus states, “whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.” Atticus’s comment implies that character outweighs skin color.

In my freshman year of High School, I read To Kill A Mockingbird for English class. I didn’t think much of it back then nor did I try to put it into context, analyze it, or to try and figure out what it really meant, because I wasn’t into it. Now rereading the novel almost two years later, I gained a lot more knowledge from the nuances of the story and insight into the morals that infuse the novel. I also gained insight into individual characters. I related more to Atticus in my second reading and I value the lessons he teaches Scout about not judging people. Re-reading increased my understanding of why To Kill a Mockingbird is regarded as an American classic.

Eryn~16

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Staff Review: These Shallow Graves

these shallow gravesThese Shallow Graves

Jennifer Donnelly

$19.99

Available October 27th, 2015

Delacorte Press

New York City in the 1800s was a completely different world. It was a time when woman didn’t have the same rights as men. A time when woman weren’t good for anything except getting married right after school and settling down, sitting pretty and doing as they were told — which meant not speaking out of term and staying home and behaving as a proper young woman of society should behave. A girl could never be forgiven for wishing to know things, which doesn’t stop Jo Montfort. Jo wants to know what really happened to her father, Charles Montfort, New York City’s wealthiest man and owner of a newspaper. He accidently shoots himself after cleaning a loaded gun, but Jo Montfort knows her father was way too smart to clean a loaded gun.

Jo is a true rebel at heart with much different dreams. Instead of getting married right after high school to a wealthy bachelor like a young woman is expected to do, she dreams of being a writer: specifically a newspaper reporter like the famous Nellie Bly. Nothing will stop Jo Montfort from finding out the real truth behind her father’s death. If it means breaking and entering into abandoned homes, digging up graves, or lying about where she has been, then so be it.

There’s nothing I like more than a determined, strong minded young rebel like Jo Montfort, breaking out of the very society that ties her down and contradicting and breaking all the rules to follow their dreams and get what they truly want. If you’re interested in mysteries that have you at the edge of your seat then These Shallow Graves written by Jennifer Donnelly is the book for you.

~Eryn, 16

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Customer Review: Kid Athletes: True Stories Of Childhood From Sports Legends

kid athletes  Kid Athletes

David Stabler and Doogie Horner

$13.95

Quirk Books

Available November 2015

Have you ever wondered how kids become award wining athletes? The book Kid Athletes: True Stories of Childhood from Sport’s Legends by David Stabler and Doogie Horner has the answer. This book is filled with exciting tales about stars of hockey, basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, horse racing, gymnastics, and soccer. Your favorite athletes are in this book.

My favorites  were Gabby Douglas, Yao Ming and Lionel Messi. Lionel Messi impressed me the most. He started walking at nine months . From the first second he was persistent . I was amazed that even when he broke his arm he didn’t scream or cry in pain. Her learned how to deal with pain.

Every sports legend was fearless but did not start that way. It was funny to read about the tough NFL quarterback Peyton Manning doing the tango. You will learn how these kids worked hard to accomplish their dreams. I really liked the book and enjoyed the funny illustrations.

~Rosella, Age 9

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Customer Review: Upside Down Magic

upside down magic

Upside Down Magic

Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Mvrace and Emily Jenkins

$14.99

Scholastic Press

Available September 2015

I loved the book “Upside Down Magic” by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins because everyone in the book had an unusual ability. They were a freezer, a kid that turns into a rock, a girl who makes a it rain, a guy who sees invisible sound waves, a girl who scares animals, a kid who is like a balloon, a girl who shrinks things, a little girl who turns not a beaver, not a kitten but bitten and many other combinations. Nory was sent away to live with her aunt. Go to a different school and leave her friends behind.

Nory was different, not able to do regular school assignments. At first Nory was unhappy but she soon realized it was okay to be different at her new school.

I liked the character Bax, a fluxor at Nory’s new school who could turn into objects instead of animals. In the story Bax turned into a rope to help Nory with a problem.

I cant wait for the second book, to find out what happens to Nory.

~ Rosella, age 9

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Staff Review: The Beautiful Bureaucrat

hpThe Beautiful Bureaucrat

Helen Phillips

Henry Holt and Company

$25.00

Available 8/11/2015

This perfect little novel reads like a hallucination, or one of those weird dreams that you get just before waking. Or maybe like an Orwellian version of the movie “Office Space.”

A young couple leaves “the hinterlands” for an unnamed city, in search of employment. They both find work in a large concrete office building with no windows and limited points of entry. Neither of them is allowed to talk about their work. Her job is to cross-reference strings of numbers and letters, and then enter a date into “The Database”, but she is not to question what this work is or why it is necessary. Her only real job requirements are to have an eye for detail and good eyesight. As the stress of this mind-numbing drudgery slowly overwhelms her, she comes to the horrifying realization of what “Data Entry” actually is. She cannot even turn to her husband, as he seems to be home less and less.

The sense of menace and isolation that has been lurking under the surface since the first page becomes almost unbearable at this point. There is no way out, both literally and figuratively. She must make choices. So must he. And the choices they make, in a stroke of pure genius, turn this novel into a kind of life-and-death version of “The Gift of the Magi.” More than that, I am not giving away. You have to read it for yourself!

~ Lysbeth Abrams

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